Review: The Horage Lensman 2 Brian Griffin Edition

Okay, before we even get one more word into this, no, it’s not that Brian Griffin. All homages to one of the world’s most famous animated dogs are relegated to Timex and their appreciation for Snoopy. Brian Griffin is a renowned photographer and filmmaker best known for his work capturing 1980’s pop musicians, earning him the title of “Photographer of the Decade ” by The Guardian in 1989. His understanding of lighting techniques and how they were depicted on film are unparalleled, and Horage crafting a special edition timepiece inspired by his work makes a ton of sense. That’s what we’re looking at today — Horage’s wrist-worn cheat sheet for manual photography. Featuring a rotating bezel and some clever dial design, you can use the watch on your wrist to nail the perfect exposure. As someone who spends quite a bit of time behind a camera, I enjoy that this watch is a fun and functional ode to photography, and I’m here for it. There’s a lot going on with this retro-cool square watch, so let’s break it down.


Featuring a “Hybrid Bi-metallic Exoskeleton Case,” the Lensman 2 is using a lot of fancy words to say that it’s crafted from two metals. The inner case is made from anodized matte black aluminum, while the outer case is rendered in a polished grade 5 titanium. The way that it’s designed makes it so the most exposed surfaces are the more durable titanium, while the softer black aluminum inside keeps the weight of the watch down and adds some really cool visual contrast. The watch is nearly square, with the slightest bulge out at the sides, tip toeing into tonneau territory. Measuring in at 39mm wide by 45.8mm lug-to-lug, the Lensman 2 wears quite well on my 6.75” wrist. The lugs are short and stout, really just leaving enough room for a strap to connect to, and that’s it. 


Review: The Horage Lensman 2 Brian Griffin Edition

Hybrid Bi-Metallic Titanium and Aluminum Exoskeleton Case
K2 micro-rotor GMT with platinum rotor
Silver with black accents
X1 Swiss SuperLuminova
Sapphire crystal
Black leather with deployant clasp
Water Resistance
50 meters
39 x 45.8mm
Lug Width

On top of the case, you’ll find the unique bi-directional bezel that you can use for calculating proper exposure. It’s cool how it works. Start off with your static aspects — the lighting condition displayed on the rehaut and ISO on the bezel. Align the ISO with the lighting condition and then you’re given a readout of shutter speeds and aperture settings that will make a balanced exposure. For example, if your camera is loaded with ISO 400 film and you’re in a full sun situation, the bezel reads out that at f/2.8 and 1/8000 shutter speed, you’ll have a properly exposed photo with a nice blurry background. Want more in focus? Check the readout and you’ll know that at f/8, a 1/2000 shutter speed will get the job done with more in focus. Granted, this would be much more useful to those using manual cameras that may lack a meter, but it’s a fun and playful way to integrate a unique function into a watch. Fans of photography will enjoy playing around with the different settings and popping their cameras into manual mode. 

In profile, the case geometry really shines. At a scant 10mm thick, the Lensman 2 has a great balance of case components that make it wear very thin. The bezel and crystal make up about 3 mm of height, the mid-case is 5mm, and the case back hangs down about 2mm. Since the 2mm case back melts into your wrist, the visual thickness is really only about 8mm, and the lightweight case further adds to the pleasant wearing experience. On the right side of the case, you’ll find a signed crown that operates the GMT movement inside. I really enjoy the retro-futuristic design of the case, especially the use of two metals with different finishing techniques. It’s something you don’t see too often, and Horage’s execution is top-notch. 

Dial + Hands

Reminiscent of the top plate of an SLR camera, the silver dial with black text and accents nails the look. The typeface used for the GMT numerals really does look like something off of an older SLR. There’s a lot of information on the dial and bezel because of the manual photography information, but it’s all balanced out quite well and executed in a clean and legible way. If you ever look at the top of an older camera, legibility and functionality are key, especially when there are so many settings you have to dial in. The rotating bezel displays ISO and aperture, while the rehaut displays lighting conditions and shutter speed. Moving inwards, you’ll find a 24-hour scale , the brand’s logo, and “K2 GMT EXPOSURE” underneath. To fill up the middle of the dial, there are very fine lines running radially from the middle of the dial outwards. 

Rendered in a matte silver, the dial almost glows in direct light. It’s a really nice color and the matte finish is extremely fine, making it appear flawlessly smooth. Brushed silver hands with a small portion of applied lume point to the hours and minutes, a white seconds hand sweeps around for seconds, while a bright yellow lollipop GMT hand takes care of the second time zone. X1 Swiss SuperLuminova on the hands and hour markers allows the watch to be read when the lights go out. The Lensman 2 is clean and legible, while packing in a lot of information. 


Powering the Lensman 2 is Horage’s own K2 micro-rotor movement with GMT functionality. The movement features a 72-hour power reserve that’s powered up by a PT950 Platinum micro-rotor. Silicon components in the escapement make the movement’s key timekeeping components unaffected by magnetism, and include the hairspring, anchor, and escape wheel. The movement isn’t all talk, it’s COSC Chronometer Certified to achieve an accuracy of -4 to +6 seconds per day. Featuring a modern design, you’ll notice the Cotes de Geneve and grid pattern all rendered in black. 


The star of the show is the platinum micro-rotor, which you can see (and feel) spinning away when the watch is in motion. It’s cool to see a brand like Horage experimenting with their own in-house movement that has a truly interesting look that really fits in well with the rest of the brand’s aesthetic. 

Strap + Wearability

I touched on it earlier, but the Lensman 2 wears quite well on my wrist. I don’t have too much experience with square watches, and this watch has really surprised me during evaluation. The shape of the case is comfortable and the excellent geometry and use of materials really doesn’t leave too much to criticize. What makes the watch for me is the addition of the circular bezel on the squared-off case. The mix of shapes doesn’t leave me thinking “hey, this looks like a little TV”, like some other boxy watches do. It’s also the bi-metallic case that cuts down on the visual imposition of a square case. Since the “exoskeleton” is made from polished titanium and the inside from matte black aluminum, you get these really interesting cuts at each corner when looking down at the watch. Since the matte aluminum is the opposite of flashy, it makes the polished titanium outer case look like more of an accent than a centerpiece. The thinness of the watch really helps it wear well too. I touched on that above, but the fact that this watch features an in-house micro-rotor GMT movement and still measures in at 10 mm overall is pretty impressive. 

I’ve mentioned the lightweight feel a few times, and decided to put my espresso scale where my mouth is. Without a strap or spring bars, the Lensman 2 weighs in at 45 grams. For reference, the Black Bay 58 clocks in at 64 grams, the Speedmaster at 64.5 grams, and the Seiko 5 Sports SNK at 46.5 grams. As you can see, the Lensman 2 is lighter than all the watches I happened to have within arms reach at my desk (sorry, not the best or most scientific sample size), even the smaller Seiko SNK. 

The Lensman 2 ships on a nice black leather strap that has a single stitch line down each side and some slight padding. It stays secured via a polished deployant-style clasp. The strap choice makes sense for the Lensman, as it fits the vibe quite well. I found it to be comfortable and high quality. This isn’t one of those watches where you’ll be rushing out to change the strap right away, which is always nice. 


One of my favorite things about camera design is that they’re not straight up tools, there’s definitely some art and design at play as well. A good camera should perform well, but it’s also about the user experience as well and that ethos carries over to the Lensman 2. It’s a functional tool, but also looks quite good while getting its job done. On the wrist, the Lensman 2 was fun to wear, light in weight, and a pleasure to look at. While the manual photography cheat sheet bezel is definitely a niche function, there are more than enough photography enthusiasts that are also into watches. Heck, half of the W&W team is guilty of that themselves. It’s cool to see an experimental brand like Horage do something a little bit different from the rest of the pack. This niche watch from the Swiss brand doesn’t come cheap though. The Lensman 2 comes in two different editions, each with a few unique features. Starting at ~$6200 is the standard edition, and clocking in at a hefty ~$7400 is the Brian Griffin edition. The extra grand will get you a platinum rotor over the standard tungsten and a set of signed and numbered photographs by Brian Griffin himself. 

What do you think of the Lensman 2 and how Horage is operating as a relatively new brand in the space? Let us know in the comments below. Horage

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.